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Mac Mini Core 2 Duo 1.83GHz used for $300 a good buy as an HTPC?


aszatk01
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Hi guys, I know someone that is looking to part with their mac mini. I've been debating for a while between the mini and the ATV as my HTPC-have been streaming to AE from macbook. Is this particular model good enough to shell out $300 used (no warranty or anything)? I've been leaning towards the ATV for ease of use and it can do everything I really want...but the expandability for not too much more $$ sounds good!

 

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I have both and would advocate for the Mini. The ATV is a great consumer level convenience device but the Mini is a real computer with lots of choices and options, and minimal (read Apple style) maintenance required and few if any hassles.

 

My 2 cents of course...Paul

 

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Well, it is like this. The 1.83ghz model came with a gig of ram and 120gb drive, I think.

 

The new model, available for $599, comes with a 2.5ghz processor, 2gb of RAM, and 160gb drive.

 

That's a lot of processing difference, and includes a year warranty *and* the newest OS. (Snow Leopard.)

 

If you have extra RAM (and do not mind cracking the case), external drives, and a copy of Snow Leopard, then it is a good deal. Not a great deal, but a good deal. If you don't, then you are probably a bit better off shelling out the case for a new model.

 

Just my $0.02, but I would save up and grab a new model, or ask your friend if he would take $200.

 

-Paul

 

 

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Thanks!

 

It's actually 80 gigs on this particular model. I recently bought a new 1tb external HD simply for time machine and backup. There is plenty of room on it for using it always plugged into the Mini as the main source of disk space. See any problems with that?

I personally don't see any need for snow leopard for this. Again, I'm 95% using this to run the same features I'd be getting out of the ATV. Is faster ram/processor going to make any difference for my "itunes friendly" useage?

Basically I'd be happy with the ATV for now however $50 more for features i'd use on occasion seems ok with me.

 

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No problem at all running the external drive continuously. I run a pair of them, with the second being a mirror of the first one, which is where my iTunes library lives. I would not use the drive for Time Machine though, and I do not use time machine to backup my iTunes library.

 

Most iTunes plugins require 10.5 as a minimum, so as long as the machine is running Leopard (10.5) you should be fine. I would personally put Snow Leopard on, because I think it has much better memory and process management. That equates to fewer beachballs. :)

 

Mac Mini's seem to be going for a premium these days - I looked on eBay and saw two like the one you are going to buy going for over $600! This is, of course, ridiculous, since a brand spanking new one, with way better specifications, can be yours for only $599. You should think carefully about the cost of the machine, but only you can decide. :)

 

Macs tend to run forever - I have an original "Fat Mac" here, as well as an SE30, and they both boot up and run just fine. I would not worry about your friend's Mac dying off, but I do think if you are going to use it for more than a year, you might consider getting a faster one with more RAM. On the other hand, that Mini will do everything you ask of it.

 

Best. :)

 

-Paul

 

 

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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